ImpulsTec develops innovative fragmentation systems 


Rid­ing the wave of suc­cess with shockwaves—a share­hold­er of Impul­sTec GmbH since day one, HOCH.REIN  is now increas­ing its finan­cial involve­ment. Because it believes in the technology.


A mar­ket-ready prod­uct? Check. Investors onboard? Check. Pilot cus­tomers? Check. Impul­sTec can con­fi­dent­ly tick all the box­es on near­ly every startup’s to-do list. The young engi­neer­ing com­pa­ny has stepped in to shake up the crush­er mar­ket with inno­v­a­tive shock­wave tech­nol­o­gy. It devel­ops and builds high-volt­age sys­tems that use mechan­i­cal shock­waves to sep­a­rate all kinds of prod­ucts and mate­ri­als into their var­i­ous com­po­nents, and thus enable them to be recy­cled. Although the tech­nol­o­gy is still very new in Ger­many, both HOCH.REIN and MBG were con­vinced of its poten­tial soon after ImpulsTec’s found­ing. In 2015, MBG invest­ed fresh cap­i­tal in the com­pa­ny to encour­age mar­ket devel­op­ment. And was suc­cess­ful, with ini­tial frag­men­ta­tion sys­tems being built for pay­ing cus­tomers soon after. Impul­sTec has now let its start­up child­hood behind, prompt­ing MBG to do what all par­ents one day have to: It let its baby go. And in the sum­mer of this year, it sold its com­pa­ny shares to HOCH.REIN GmbH.

The prod­uct of the Research & Devel­op­ment depart­ment of a pho­to­voltaics group, Impul­sTec began its busi­ness oper­a­tions in 2014. Since then, it has been a provider of indus­tri­al frag­men­ta­tion sys­tems and asso­ci­at­ed ser­vices. Each sys­tem is designed tak­ing into account cus­tomer-spe­cif­ic appli­ca­tions and process chains, and the engi­neers con­duct inten­sive test series and fea­si­bil­i­ty stud­ies dur­ing the pre­de­vel­op­ment stage. But this is hard­ly pos­si­ble with­out finan­cial back­up dur­ing the start-up phase. In order to raise cap­i­tal, ImpulsTec’s founders turned to MBG, whose invest­ment man­ag­er Mar­tin Lieb­sch today ret­ro­spec­tive­ly explains that “the shock­wave-frag­men­ta­tion tech­nol­o­gy for well-sort­ed recy­cling of com­pos­ite mate­ri­als sparked our inter­est in an invest­ment right from the very first cus­tomer pitch, and is set­ting new stan­dards. The tech­nol­o­gy under­lines the fact that Sax­on inno­va­tions are not just suc­cess­ful at a busi­ness lev­el, but also sig­nif­i­cant­ly con­tribute to the eco­log­i­cal foot­print in our state, and now also around the world.” Lieb­sch adds that the team of founders have also been found to be absolute experts in their field. But it wasn’t just praise that MBG had for Impul­sTec; it also had cap­i­tal, which ulti­mate­ly man­i­fest­ed in the form of an open, silent partnership.

MBG’s financ­ing was an essen­tial ini­tial help­ing hand, as Impul­sTec co-CEO Ste­fan Eis­ert explains: “MBG sup­port­ed Impul­sTec as a reli­able part­ner dur­ing the high-tech company’s estab­lish­ment phase. The pro­vid­ed invest­ment cap­i­tal helped cre­ate sales struc­tures and ini­ti­ate mar­ket­ing mea­sures to increase the inno­v­a­tive shock­wave-frag­men­ta­tion technology’s vis­i­bil­i­ty on the mar­ket.” Eis­ert also men­tions the fields of appli­ca­tion asso­ci­at­ed with the new frag­men­ta­tion process: “Anoth­er cor­ner­stone of the invest­ment was the notion of fur­ther tech­no­log­i­cal devel­op­ment and prac­ti­cal­i­ty for future mar­kets such as elec­tron­ic scrap, lithi­um-ion bat­ter­ies, solar mod­ules, and semi­con­duc­tor mate­ri­als.” These areas are where the ben­e­fits of ImpulsTec’s mate­r­i­al-selec­tion approach become ful­ly appar­ent: Unlike in con­ven­tion­al process­es, the ini­tial prod­ucts are not sim­ply crushed; they are instead split into their indi­vid­ual mate­r­i­al com­po­nents. This is achieved through elec­tro­hy­drauli­cal­ly gen­er­at­ed sound waves that are trans­mit­ted to the mate­r­i­al inter­faces through a liq­uid. In this way, it is pos­si­ble to break some­thing like a Smart­phone down into its plas­tic case, the PCB, and elec­tri­cal com­po­nents. But the tech­nol­o­gy can also be used in cas­es where an indi­vid­ual mate­r­i­al is pul­ver­ized into vary­ing grain sizes with strict puri­ty requirements.

With its knowl­edge of the unique sell­ing points and wide range of pos­si­ble appli­ca­tions offered by sound-wave tech­nol­o­gy, it is no sur­prise that HOCH.REIN GmbH is now increas­ing its invest­ment. HOCH.REIN CEO Gui­do Ger­lach sees great growth poten­tial for Impul­sTec: “We believe in the idea, and will con­tin­ue to advance this. Impul­sTec strikes the very essence of the HOCH.REIN phi­los­o­phy, which is to iden­ti­fy tech­nolo­gies, pro­mote devel­op­ment, and make them mar­ket-ready. Recy­cling is today gain­ing in impor­tance, par­tic­u­lar­ly when it comes to buzz­words like con­ser­va­tion and sus­tain­abil­i­ty. The Impul­sTec tech­nol­o­gy takes into account pre­cise­ly this, because the mate­ri­als are only sep­a­rat­ed via intense com­pres­sion­al waves and lit­tle use of ener­gy, there­by enabling the indi­vid­ual raw mate­ri­als to be reused.” MBG CEO Markus H. Michalow notes the inspi­ra­tion and dri­ve this has pro­vid­ed for the region­al econ­o­my, adding that “sell­ing our shares to our strate­gic part­ner HOCH.REIN GmbH has enabled us to make addi­tion­al, nec­es­sary invest­ments in ImpulsTec’s growth, and has also cre­at­ed a num­ber of new jobs in Rade­beul, with MBG Sax­ony liv­ing up to its pio­neer­ing role for future invest­ments.” As such, there is every rea­son to be con­fi­dent about the fact that Impul­sTec, backed by HOCH.REIN, will suc­cess­ful­ly con­tin­ue what MBG helped encourage.